I watched parts of the Primetime Emmy’s, but I did manage to catch the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category. Along with everyone else, I watched as Amy Poehler jumped up from her seat and ran up onto the stage. I was instantly delighted. Each nominee named after Poehler followed suit until all of the talented actresses stood onstage, clutching hands and giggling nervously. It looked spontaneous, but I had a suspicion that it was scripted. That little fact didn’t take away from the magic of it at all. Megan McCarthy won the statue. The women erupted into delightful screams and a collapse of hugs. Megan looked stunned as she accepted the award and all of the women appeared to be really happy for her. Maybe they are just good actresses or maybe they were genuinely happy for each other.
So, why am I talking about this? There were two things that struck me about this moment. The first was that, in Hollywood and in life, women are often stereotyped to be catty and unable to genuinely be happy for each other. You see it all over reality television from Housewives to Basketball Wives, women hate their women friends and they can’t get together without throwing a drink in someone’s face or badmouthing each other behind their backs. I find this so hard to believe. I have girlfriends and I, absolutely, adore them. I would never throw a drink on them. I value their opinions. We share laughs. And, if we do talk behind each other’s backs, it’s genuinely out of concern or to share good news and not malice. I have no desire to keep company of anyone that doesn’t wish me well. I also don’t have a desire to be false around people that I don’t particularly care for, so I choose my friends wisely. I love people who love me.
The second thing I enjoyed about this moment was that each of those amazingly talented women got to step up on that stage and shine while waiting for their name to be announced. Maybe all award shows should be this way. I always felt bad for the people left in their seats after their name isn’t announced and the camera pans to them in an attempt to catch a sour puss look on their face. Maybe it’s not only about winning the statue. Maybe it’s about stepping up on that stage, standing in front of your peers and being celebrated as a nominee. On the Price is Right, my favorite part was when they told the person to, “come on down”.
Each of those women were chosen as outstanding even if they didn’t win the prize. In life outside of Hollywood, we don’t generally get an opportunity to run up to a stage and give a speech. We’re not chosen by ballot to receive an accolade from our peers, but does that mean that people don’t celebrate us. Not at all. We can all grab the spotlight at some time in our life. Most of the time, it’s through an event. A birthday, a wedding, an anniversary or a baby shower. Those are the moments when friends and family gather to show us how much we matter. But, we can celebrate each other and ourselves at any time. It doesn’t take an award. It can be a card. It can be a note. It can be a kind word. I have been in conversation with friends or family and we have both expressed how much we care.
We often take friendships for granted or diminish them in our minds as if they are not as much work. Maintaining friendships is as much work as any other relationship. Your friend may give you permission to be selfish for a bit longer than most, but if you take it for granted too long you will lose that friend. If you are in a friendship where you find that you are the only one giving, you have every right to demand more from your friend. You can’t expect more than a significant other, but you’re friend has to maintain her relationship with you as well. A friendship is meant to be a support system, but it goes both ways. But, as I said before, not all friends are true friends. If you fight like the Housewives or Basketball wives, I would question whether those relationships were benefiting you or are actually toxic. You should feel good after interacting with your friends. If you walk away feeling unfulfilled or used, that person is not your friend. Often, friendships are another way to act out what we believe about ourselves. If we think we are unworthy, our friendships can reflect that unworthiness by being one more challenge to prove our right to be loved.
“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think, but the most important thing is, even if we’re apart. I’ll always be with you.” – Winnie the Pooh
If you have a great friend, make sure you tell them how much you care. Maybe you should give them an award, or you can simply be there for them. For better or worse. Celebrate your friend and celebrate yourself for being a great friend. It’s not easy to maintain friendships while being a mother, a daughter, a wife and an employee. If you can still manage to do it, you deserve the trophy as well. But, the real reward for great relationships, is you have few more people in your life to love and a few more people that love you. And that is the crown one should wear upon her head.